Enhanching the Human-Team Awareness of a Robot (Robotics/Computer Project)

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The use of autonomous robots in our society is increasing every day and a robot is no longer seen as a tool but as a team member. The robots are now working side by side with us and provide assistance during dangerous operations where humans otherwise are at risk.

This development has in turn increased the need of robots with more human-awareness. Therefore, this master thesis aims at contributing to the enhancement of human-aware robotics. Specifically, we are investigating the possibilities of equipping autonomous robots with the capability of assessing and detecting activities in human teams.

This capability could, for instance, be used in the robot’s reasoning and planning components to create better plans that ultimately would result in improved human-robot teamwork performance. we propose to improve existing teamwork activity recognizers by adding intangible features, such as stress, motivation and focus, originating from human behavior models.

Hidden markov models have earlier been proven very efficient for activity recognition and have therefore been utilized in this work as a method for classification of behaviors.

In order for a robot to provide effective assistance to a human team it must not only consider spatio-temporal parameters for team members but also the psychological.To assess psychological parameters this master thesis suggests to use the body signals of team members. Body signals such as heart rate and skin conductance.

Combined with the body signals we investigate the possibility of using System Dynamics models to interpret the current psychological states of the human team members, thus enhancing the human-awareness of a robot.
Source: Mälardalen University
Author: Wåhlin, Peter

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